Commodities Arbitration & Litigation

Resolving disputes that occur as a result of commodities transactions can be challenging given the complexity of the issues, trade volume, parties involved and amount of money at issue.  Arbitration is a proven means of resolving commodities disputes quickly, privately, and cost effectively.  Arbitration is a dispute resolution process, which is an alternative to the traditional lawsuit in court. Rather than have a matter decided by a judge and jury, participants to an arbitration proceeding have their dispute resolved by impartial persons who are knowledgeable in the areas in controversy. Those persons are called arbitrators.

Arbitration, while being styled a “businessman’s” method of resolving disputes, is governed by state and federal law, as well as by the rules of the arbitration forum itself.  A host of arguments can, and do, arise in arbitration regarding the location of the hearings, the composition of the panels, which disputes can be arbitrated, what discovery can be obtained, and other issues.  Most states have provisions in their civil practice rules for arbitration, which provide a basic framework for the arbitration and due process considerations, as well as procedures for confirmation of an arbitrators’ award, a procedure which gives an arbitration award the force and effect of a judgment after a trial in a court. Arbitration is generally confidential, and documents submitted in arbitration are not publicly-available, unlike court-related filings. Commodities arbitrations may be filed with the National Futures Association (“NFA”).

The National Futures Association (NFA) is the industry wide, self-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry.  In 1983, NFA began an arbitration program, providing a method for investors to resolve futures-related disputes.  Since that time, NFA arbitration has become the primary venue for dispute resolution in the futures industry.  NFA also offers a mediation program to provide a faster and less expensive alternative to arbitration.  NFA’s ability to hear investor’s claims depends on certain factors, such as when you first knew the dispute existed and whether the dispute involves futures transactions.

NFA arbitration may be utilized, if certain conditions are met, by an investor who has claims against a person or firm that is a member or associate of the National Futures Association.  NFA has broad jurisdiction to hear disputes that involve futures contracts and options on futures contracts traded on domestic exchanges, dealer options, futures transactions and commodity option transactions on foreign exchanges for U.S. customers, and leverage transactions.

Hanley Law is experienced in helping investors who have been victims of commodities fraud.  If you have lost money as a result of commodities fraud you may be able to recover your financial losses. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.